lifestyle, making, Uncategorized

To De-stash or not to De-stash that is the Question

Over the past month I have been slowly going through my craft paraphernalia. It is amazing how one can hoard so much craft stuff, from fabric & wool, to ribbons & lace, buttons & beads, paper craft & other bits & pieces. For some crafters, the phrase de-stash may conjure up feelings of distress & sheer horror. The thought of clearing out items from a well curated stash might seem like an unbearable thing, a terrible torture to inflict on someone creative. And what about all the money you spent on acquiring your stash? Surely you just can’t give it away for nothing in return?

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When I decided I was going to do a de-stash, I made sure that I did it with conviction. I think this is the key. You can’t go in to it half hearted, you can’t procrastinate on a single thing because that will cause your resolve to waver. I’m not saying it’s easy. It took me three goes to de-stash my patchwork fabric collection, and even now I still think that maybe I have held on to some fabric I’ll never use. But I persisted. Some of it was easy & I found myself thinking ‘why did I by this?’. Obviously I had liked it when I bought it, but tastes change, & you may find yourself drawn to other styles or themes of fabric that leave items in your stash redundant. This has definitely been the case with myself. As I am re-branding my business & in a sense re-branding my entire creative making style, I decided not to keep any fabric that didn’t fit in to my new brand. This made chucking fabric out just that little bit easier.

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De-stashing my fabric was definitely the hardest but I found going through everything else much easier. Now that I have discovered Indie Hand Dyed yarn & I’ve a growing appreciation for quality wool products, throwing out almost my entire collection of acrylic yarn was like eating a piece of cake. The same went with all the ribbons, lace, buttons & beads I had acquired over the years. If I couldn’t see myself making something out of it that wasn’t in-line with my new branding & making style, then out it went!

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So after one has cleansed themselves of un-wanted stash, what do you do with it all? Well I decided to have a Studio Open Day & De-Stash sale. Unfortunately for me the day I picked turned out to be incredibly hot so I didn’t get a stellar turn-out – though I greatly appreciated the lovely ladies that did come & take some of my stash of my hands. Still you never know how these sort of things are going to go if you don’t give it a try. It was nice to sit in my studio & sew all day, surrounded by my craft hoarding & feeling a great sense of relief that I was getting rid of some of it.

 

So what to do with what is left (which is still a massive amount)? I will bring it along to a couple of markets with me & try to sell it that way. It is all quality items, especially the fabric, so I would like to see it go to people who will be able to use it in their own making endeavours.

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I do not regret doing a de-stash, in fact I feel rather great about it! Plus it now frees up storage space in my studio for new stash! This time however I am going to be rather more critical when buying for my stash. Fabric & yarn must be bought with my brand in mind. I’m also going to try & only by items for specific projects, rather than buying something & thinking, yep one day I can make something lovely with that.

So if you’ve been thinking about doing a de-stash, do it! It might be hard, at first you might barely throw anything out. Consider doing a swap with another maker or crafter. This may make the releasing of stash items from your closely guarded collection more bearable. Go in to it with an open mind & you may just feel a great sense of relief & peace with it all.

Happy Making,

Miss Leela x

Tutorials, Uncategorized

English Paper Piecing Tutorial #1

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Hello There!

Just popped by to let you know I filmed my first in a series of Tutorials about English Paper Piecing. Tutorial #1 is all about Basting & Sewing Quarter Inch Hexies. You can view the Tutorial on my YouTube Channel here!

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask!

Happy Stitching,

Miss Leela x

Podcast Show Notes, Uncategorized

Podcast Episode 5 – Show Notes

Hello! Episode 5 of my podcast is now live on YouTube. You can find it here!

Below are the show notes for this podcast. If you have any questions you’d like to ask me please send an email to miss.leela@bigpond.com.

Bunny Buddy Pattern: Crochet Object

Get the pattern here.

Crochet Matinee Jacket Pattern by Just Crochet

My Crochet Kimono made by my Mum: Pattern is the Boho Cardi by Patons

Yarn is Heirloom Cotton 4 ply, colour 617

Ripple Crochet Blanket: I used a tutorial by Lucy from Attic 24.

Yarn is Patons Big Baby 4 ply in colours 3911 (variegated) & 2582 (mint green)

Podcasts I mentioned:

Crafternoon Treats

Stitching the High Notes

Cherry Heart

Betsy Makes

You can get the Breathe List Journal from here.

You can also find me in these places:

Etsy

Instagram

Facebook

Pinterest

lifestyle, making, Uncategorized

February Reflections & the End of Summer

Hello there! Hope you are all well. Today is the first day of Autumn, although it is still a rather warm sunny summery day. I don’t know about anyone else & I’m certainly no meteorological expert, but I really do think our Summer here doesn’t end until at least April. I feel like over the last few years the seasons have been slowly shifting & Summer gets longer while Autumn & Winter get shorter. I used to always be a summer girl & the heat never really bothered me. Boy has that changed! This year I have found the heat utterly exhausting & I can’t wait for the cooler weather of Autumn & Winter, to get rugged up & wear my boots again! I’m definitely starting to prefer Autumn & Spring now. The weather is so much milder & there are more opportunities to get in to the garden & get some landscaping done.

As one month ends & another begins I thought I’d write a bit about my reflections on the past month & what I have or have not achieved in my aim of developing a more mindful & balanced life.

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I started a bullet journal which is something I have not tried before. I’m not really following any kind of specific formula, or template, just creating pages for things that I would like to keep track of & explore over the year. So far I have really enjoyed it & I try to create a new page every couple of days. I think it will be a really nice way to see what I’ve achieved & remember all the things that we did as a family at the end of the year. So far I have pages for Books I’ve read, Makes for Me, Makes for Tilly, Makes for Gifts & Makes for the home. I’ve also drawn up a Walking & Hiking Tracker to count how many kilometres I do on my morning walks or hikes I go on. I also have a sewing time & crochet time tracker to see how many hours over the course of a year these two activities take up. I have listed my two Make Nines as well as a page for this year’s word, Discovery, & my Mindful Living goals. I have pages for Adventures, Holidays, Garden Tasks & Home Renovations completed. A page to list the things I’m grateful for, New Crafts I’ve Tried & Tilly’s milestones.

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As well as my bullet journal I’ve been working in my List Journal which was put out by the magazine Breathe. Some of the questions or lists have been really easy to fill out, but others are much harder & it’s really forced me to sit down & think about my thoughts & answers.

I have started going on a morning walk on Friday’s. I don’t work on this day, so I get up early & go for a walk before Tilly gets up & before my husband leaves for work. As I really want to get in to bushwalking or hiking, I thought this would be a good way to build my fitness levels back up. It’s also a nice way to clear my mind a bit after a week of being in the office & prepare myself for what the weekend will bring.

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Native Gum Blossom found on my morning walk.

It’s been really hot here this past month so I haven’t really gotten out in to the garden to do much. We have a lot of hard landscaping & clearing that needs to be done & that’s a bit hard to do in 35-40 degree heat! I did get a bit done last week before the rain deluge, & Tim & I cut some trees down & took two loads of waste to the tip. I’d really like to plant some spring bulbs this year, so I need to get the front garden beds weeded & mulched soon so I can do that.

I’ve really enjoyed my making time this month. It’s been nice having the pressure to make items for my shop or markets taken off my shoulders. I’ve enjoyed working on things that I want to work on. I’ve nearly finished my Hexagon Flower Mini Quilt. I have loved working on this & it feels good to have nearly finished something I started ages ago.

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I pulled out another project I started years ago in the past week to get done, a 1” hexagon quilt pattern that I drafted up around 6 years ago. It’s called the Flowers Floor Mat & I’m hoping to get it finished for Tilly for Christmas.

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I’ve been crocheting a couple of things for my best friend who is having her first baby. She is due in April. I’ve been crocheting a ripple pram blanket & I’ve also made a bunny buddy for her. I have plans to make a fruit rattle as well. I also dyed up some yarn which my mum has then crocheted into a gorgeous cardigan. This past week I’ve also been making decorations for her baby shower which is this Sunday.

I have been reading much more, although I still do find that the only thing I really want to do in my downtime is sew. I find it hard to stop when I’m engrossed in a project. This month I finished A Garden in the Hills by Christine McCabe. To be honest I actually started this book last year but put it aside as I got really busy with my shop & markets. I didn’t have much to go so I thought I’d get it done so I could start something new. The book follows a year in the life of a Garden in the Adelaide Hills. I really enjoyed it & it was quite motivating. The only thing I found mildly disappointing is that even though it’s a novel, there were no photos of the garden that the book was about. And while the author painted a really good picture, it would have been nice to see some actual photos.

We went on a couple of outings in February. There was the daytrip I took with Tilly & my parents last weekend, which I wrote about in my previous post to Mittagong & Bowral. Tim, Tilly & I also went on a drive up the mountains to Blackheath to Evans Lookout & also up Blackheath Mountain. Every time we go exploring in our ‘backyard’ & I stand on the rocky outcrops looking over the vast valleys I feel such a sense of awe & littleness. It always leaves me feeling rejuvenated & with a great sense of hope & optimism for our future. It’s so nice getting back to nature. Even though the bush is so vast somehow it also feels so comforting. We’re going camping at Easter with friends out west again this year & I can’t wait! It’s going to be so much fun watching Tilly explore, & you just can’t beat sitting around the campfire with friends having a good old yarn!

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The view from Evans Lookout

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On top of Blackheath Mountain looking down in to the Megalong Valley

Tilly & I did some painting this month. It’s so fun watching here develop her creative side. She really enjoys drawing with crayons & painting. I bought some paper plates for her to paint. Because they are a bit stiffer than sheets of paper I thought they’d be a bit more robust & stand up to the paintbrush stabbing & all the wet paint. Paper gets quite soggy & tears really easy. I bought a couple of small canvases for her to paint on next. Tilly now goes to day care, or ‘School’ as we prefer to call it on Thursday’s. Her first day was fantastic & there were no tears when I dropped her. Subsequent weeks were not so good & there was a lot of crying & holding on to me for dear life when it was time for me to go. She always has a good day there & enjoys the activities. The drop off has gotten better & last week there was only a brief little cry when I went to leave. I know she will get better, & it’s so good for development. I’m amazed at how much she is learning & how quickly she is learning. She can now count to 10 & can also read & say all the letters of the alphabet, except for G, J & W. The other day whilst doing the grocery shopping she even recited the entire alphabet from A to Z without any help from me!!

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This moth I also played around a bit more with my styling & photography, this time with a Valentine’s Theme. I’m still finding my feet with styling & photography & this is something I want to work on a lot more this year.

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I hope this past month has been a good one for you. I hope the start of your year has been great & that you feel you’re on track for a year full of all the loveliest things in life. I know I’ve certainly started this year very positively & I have enjoyed discovering new things, new ways to look at my life & new things about myself.

Have a lovely weekend,

Miss Leela xo

 

lifestyle, Uncategorized

A Day Out to Mittagong & Bowral

Hello there! Yesterday Tilly & I had a lovely day out with my parents to Mittagong & Bowral. We headed along to the Southern Highlands Quilters Guild Biennial Quilt & Craft Show. The quilt show was quite extensive with many quilts on display. However it was very busy & the aisles weren’t quite wide enough to cope with the masses of woman who liked to stand and chat in front of the quilts. In all honesty I felt a bit under-whelmed with the quality of quilts on display. There were a few stand out pieces I liked, but unfortunately I had a small child who insisted on being carried throughout the entire show & so I had no free hands to take any photos. Sometimes Tilly chooses the worst times to be clingy! There were many stall holders there, but I was very good and didn’t purchase a single piece of fabric. Also carrying a toddler makes it very easy to inhibit ones access to the wallet.

https://www.southernhighlandsquilters.com/

After we finished at the show we continued on to Bowral. This country town is one of my most favourite places to visit. Not only are there fantastic shops & cafes, gorgeous country surrounds & gardens, but it will always have a special place in my heart as it is where Tim & I got married.

I had read in a recent Country Style magazine about a Tea Room & Nursery that I hadn’t yet discovered in Bowral, and so we were lead to Dirty Janes a Vintage & Antique shop, although in reality it is more like a warehouse! The place is massive & an absolute treasure trove of vintage antiques, as well as a couple of more modern décor stall holders. There was even a little yarn shop stall in there! Once again, I was unable to take any photos as the only way I could walk around in peace & look was by giving my phone to Tilly in the pram to watch Nursery Rhymes. So here are a few I found on the website with links to where I found them. I purchased a little pink ceramic dish & a small vintage blue milk jug.

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Image from http://dirtyjanes.com/the-blog/

Inside Dirty Janes is The Tea Salon where we had a delightful Brunch. I had the most delicious tea called Queen of Hearts, a blend of white tea, pineapple, rosehips, cranberries, lemongrass, pomegranate & cornflowers. It was so lovely my Dad bought me a packet to take home. I also enjoyed Lavender scones with Lemon Curd & Chantilly cream. Mum had apricot scones with ricotta & honey, & Dad had the Rose scones with rose cream & raspberry jam. They were all absolutely delicious!

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My Lavender scones & Queen of Hearts Tea

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Dad’s Rose Scones

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Image from http://dirtyjanes.com/the-blog/

Dirty Janes is next to Green Lane which is a little alfresco hub that contains The Potting Shed, Green Lane Kitchen, Harry’s Wine Bar, The Orangery, The Cook & The Gardener & Suzie Anderson Home. Again, I was unable to take many photos myself, but I have found some online & provided links for you to check these places out.

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Image from: http://dirtyjanes.com/the-blog/

Suzie Anderson Home is packed full of lovely modern country style homewares, furniture & soft furnishings. I could spend an absolute fortune in there, but I was quite restrained & just came away with a little ceramic dish.

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Image from http://dirtyjanes.com/the-blog/

The Potting shed is an indoor plant enthusiast haven with many specimens to choose from as well as a range of cottage plants for the garden. I took home a small fern for my bathroom & a little ficus bonsai to live in my Dining Room.

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I could literally have spent an entire day pottering around this little hub in Bowral. I think next time I go I might need to leave Tilly at home so that I can really look at all the treasure in Dirty Janes. Next time I’d love to have a meal at Harry’s and sit amongst the amazing décor of books, plants & vintage style furniture.

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Image from https://harryswinebarbowral.com/gallery/

We took the scenic way home through Thirlmere, The Oaks & Silverdale. We stopped at Hill Top at the Belle Fleur Lavender so I could grab some of the Hand Cream I got from there on our last visit. I really like this hand cream. I suffer from a bit of eczema on my hands & fingers & since I started using this every night I have had no flare ups.

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My goodies collected.

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Tilly Enjoying a roadside ice-cream!

A lovely day out all in all & I look forward to heading back again for more exploring around Bowral.

Enjoy the week ahead,

Miss Leela

making, Uncategorized

My Make Nine 2018 for Tilly

My Make Nine 2018 for Tilly

Hello there! Hope you are having a lovely day. Last time we met I shared with you my Make Nine for Me for 2018. Today I’m back to share with you nine makes I have picked out to make for Matilda aka Tilly my daughter. It’s rather ambitious of me to in essence have 18 projects to try & make in one year, but I’ve never been one to make life easy for myself & setting outrageous goals just seems to be the way that I roll! And besides, my makes for Tilly are all small things so surely they won’t take too long, right?!

So here they are, my Make Nine for Tilly…

Amigurumi Duck by One & Two Company

duck amigurumi - one & two company ETSY

Tilly loves ducks, in fact it was one of the first words I think she learnt, after Dad, Nan & Mum. She loves playing a 5 Little Ducks game I have on my phone, & for a long time declared that any bird she saw was a ‘Duck!’ I will be making this duck softie for her 2nd Birthday in May.

Chantilly Lace Sundress by Mon Petit Violon

Chantilly Lace Sundress - Monpetitviolon Etsy

When I was pregnant with Tilly & we found out we would be having a girl, I immediately hit Pinterest & Etsy saving all manner of gorgeous crochet dresses. Of course I never found the time to make any of them, so I knew I wanted to include a dress in my make nine for Tilly. I chose this one as I think it would be gorgeous in summer, but also good in the autumn to wear over tights & a t-shirt or long sleeve top.

Joy of Dance Leg Warmers by Salena Baca

joy of dance leg warmers - salena baca

I think leg warmers are just the coolest things & I think little girls & bubs look so sweet in them. Perfect for a bit of extra warmth over tights or leggings in Autumn/Winter.

La Vie en Rose Earflap Hat by Kirsten Holloway

La Vie en Rose Earflap Hat - Kirsten Holloway

I love this hat & think Tilly will look super cute in it. She looks good in just about any style hat. I love the combination of stitches in this pattern, & who could resist it with that giant pom pom on top!

Little Doily Bag by The Green Dragonfly

little doily bag - green dragonfly

Girls with little bags to carry their treasures in, it’s the sweetest thing isn’t it? Tilly’s not quite at that stage yet but I’d love to make her a special bag from Mum.

The Adanya Warmer & The Braelyn Warmer by Velvet Acorn

The Adanya Warmer - the velvet acorn

The Braelyn Warmer & cowel - the velvet acorn ETSY 2

Are these not the sweetest little girl head warmers/cowels! I love that they can be worn both ways, so versatile. It’s a great struggle to keep Tilly’s hair out of her face so a head warmer is perfect, so long as she keeps it on. I like the idea of a cowel rather than a scarf for Winter as less of a chance of strangling herself! I think I’ll make the Adayna out of cotton thread so it’s a bit cooler to wear in summer.

Motif Cardigan/Poncho by Patons

I bought this pattern book when pregnant with Tilly, I also bought the yarn & started to make the crochet squares, then I lost my making mojo big time until about half way through my second trimester & so never finished it. Tilly has a huge amount of lovely hand knit & crochet cardigans my mum has made her, so I have decided to use the square motif from the pattern & make a poncho with tassels instead.

motif cardigan - Patons

Starlight Toddler Slippers by My Hobby is Crochet

starlight toddler slippers - my hobby is crochet

When Tilly was a baby I had the hardest time keeping crochet booties on her feet & I’ve never been able to get her to keep slippers on either. I’m hoping I’ll have more success with these!

I have lots of other things I want to make for Tilly, toys, clothes etc. The first thing I make for her this year is actually not on this list, it will be this Amigurumi Lamb by Anatillea. I’m making this as an Easter present for Tilly. Then of course there’s Christmas makes & decoration makes for her room.

amigurumi lamb - Anatillea ETSY

Oh if only there were more hours in the day, or if only I didn’t need to sleep!

Do you have a Make Nine for 2018? Tell me all about it, I’d love to see!

Happy Making.

Love,

Miss Leela x

making, Uncategorized

My Make Nine 2018

Hello! I hope you are all having a lovely day. Today I’m going to share with you my #makenine2018 crochet projects. I wasn’t going to get involved with this phenomenon that has swept through the craft community on Instagram, mostly because it felt like a lot of pressure to actually complete 9 specific projects. I’ve never really been one to plan out my makes, I just tend to make what I feel like making. Mind you, that didn’t really happen last year as most of the things I was making were to sell at markets, and that is definitely something that won’t be happening this year, at least not initially.

So I thought to myself this year I would really like to get back in to making things for the pure enjoyment of it. Last year making became a bit more of a chore & I lost my passion for some of the things I was doing (most notably the crochet amigurumi toys). Also I have never actually crocheted anything for myself, at least nothing that is wearable. And so I decided that a little focus would be good & I hit my Pinterest boards to find items to make, & boy was that a task & a half! Do you ever feel overwhelmed looking on Pinterest? I sure do! The moment I start looking through my boards a feeling of sheer in-decision sweeps over me & my mind boggles at all the potential things I could make. It took me Tilly’s entire nap time, around 2 hours to decide what I wanted to make!

So without further ado, in no particular ‘making’ order, here is my Crochet Make Nine 2018 for ME!

 

Chunky Criss Cross Headband by Hopeful Honey

Chunky-Criss-Cross-Headband - hopeful honey

I really like the look of this as the stitch used looks quite interesting. I have some bulky soft Aqua yarn in my stash destined for this.

The Every Girl Slouch Hat by Croyden Crochet

every-girl-slouch-hat - croyden crochet

I have long wanted to make myself a hat & this one doesn’t look overly difficult. I have a potential bulky weight yarn for this in variegated tones of peachy pinks, however I do just like the use of ivory as it can then go with just about anything.

Just Peachy Cowl by Hooked on Handmade

just peachy-cowl - hooked on homemade happiness

This was the easiest thing to decide on & the first item I picked to be in my make nine. I love the colour combination & plan to un-ashamedly copy it!

Manhattan Crochet Tote – Mama in a Stitch

Manhattan-Crochet-Tote-Pattern-Picture - Mama in a stitch

I knew I wanted to include a bag in my make nine & choosing which bag was super hard. There are so many great bag patterns but in the end I settled on this & can’t wait to get started on it.

Shin-Yu Infinity Scarf by Chichi Allen

shin-yu infinty scarf - chichi Allen

So I wanted to include a scarf pattern in my make 9 as well as a cowl & shawl. I’m aware that this doesn’t look overly scarf like & more like a shawl cowl combination, but I was really drawn to it, probably mostly by the colours which I love, but also the lacy pattern. Shin-Yu means True Friends in Japanese.

Ski Sunday Sweater by Fran Morgan

Crochet story shoot on location with model Sara

I spied this in issue 66 of Simply Crochet Magazine & fell in love with it. I love the colour work which is something I haven’t done before so I’m looking forward to learning a new skill with this one.

Soul Soothing Mitts – Sandra Paul, Cherry Heart

neautral soul soothing mitts crochet

It was hard to pick a wrist warmer pattern. I wasn’t being drawn to any of the ones I had pinned, then I remembered that Sandra had recently podcasted about a pair she had designed with a rather interesting stitch pattern. So here they are on my list!

Spring Rainbow Shawl by Katia Yarns

spring rainbow shawl - katia

Last year mum & I both bought a cake of Katia Spring Rainbow yarn (I got colour 54) which came with this free pattern. Mum has already made hers, but as I can’t yet read graph patterns, I’m waiting on mum to write it out for me so I can start!

Winter Wonder Socks by Vicki Brown

winter wonder socks - vicki brown

Whilst my goal this year is to learn how to knit socks, I thought I would also try to crochet a pair. I chose this pattern as it looks fairly simple but has a touch of interest to the design at the cuff.

So there they are, my crochet goals. Of course I also have my sock knitting goal, as well as items I’d like to crochet & sew for the home. Plus there are all of my un-finished mini quilts, & of course new ideas for Mini EPP patchwork. Oh & today I finished making a Crochet Make Nine for Matilda (I’ll do a separate post for that)

I am going to be super busy this year!

Love,

Miss Leela x